Black Rice Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette



Black rice, or known as forbidden rice is an ancient grain cultivated in Asia. It has the darkest bran layer of any whole grain rice. It is in this bran layer where most of the minerals, vitamins and fiber are stored.  It contains only around 160 calories but offers a very high amount of flavonoids phytonutrients. It has fiber, substantial mineral content including iron and copper, and it is good source of plant based protein.

Now, why is it called "forbidden rice"? During the times of Ching and Ming dynasty, the forbidden rice was exclusively reserve for royalty and wealthy to ensure longevity and healthy life. The common Chinese people were not allowed to grow or consume this black forbidden rice, thus its unique name which is still being used at present.

Some of the many health benefits of black rice are full of antioxidants, protects heart health, helps detoxify the body, good source of fiber, naturally gluten free grain, helps slow down absorption of sugar in the blood, better at preventing obesity,

To learn more about the health benefits of black rice, please click here

Soaking it overnight helps bring the cooking time down. As a general rule, black rice should be cook with two cups of water for every one cup of rice. It will need to cook for 30 - 40 minutes for soaked rice and 60 minutes if you cook unsoaked rice. For this recipe, I used more than 2 cups of water to ensure that the rice won't stick at the bottom of the pot. And I used left over violet rice from my last post.

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Edamame is a young soybean that has been harvested before it has a chance to harden. You can buy them shelled or in the pod, fresh and frozen. Just like black rice, edamame is gluten free. It contains no cholesterol and is a source of protein, iron and calcium. It can be eaten as a snack or mixed with salads and stews. It can be cook as stir fry, soup and dip. To learn more about the health benefits of edamame, please click here.


Black Rice Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

1 cup black rice, soaked overnight, washed and drained
salt
1/2 cup walnuts
3 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp. honey
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup frozen edamame, thawed
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
4 ounces green beans, cut into half ( about 1 cup)
salt and pepper

Place rice in a a pot, pour 2 1/2 cup water and add salt. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender, 30 - 40 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Spread walnuts on a lined baking sheet. Toast in oven turning once until fragrant, 8 - 10 minutes. Let cool and chop.

Green Beans:  Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, fill a bowl with ice water. Carefully lower the green beans into the boiling water. Boil for 2 - 4 minutes depending on the thickness of the beans. Remove from heat and plunge immediately in ice water to stop the cooking. Drain.

Edamame:  Bring a pot of water to a boil, add 1 tsp salt. Add edamame and cook for 4 - 5 minutes. Drain edamame and let it cool. To shell the beans, gently squeeze the pods with your fingers to release them.

Whisk lemon juice, rice wine vinegar and honey. Drizzle EVOO slowly while whisking constantly. Season with salt.

Toss together rice, walnuts, scallions, green beans, edamame and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.

Store leftover vinaigrette in the fridge

Inspiration from bonappetit.com

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